Why The Office has changed my life

The show that raised me more than my own parents

Maddie Thompson, Feature Editor

Have you ever loved something so completely, so fully that you think nothing can ever or will ever compare to it? When I watch my favorite show, The Office, that is how I feel. The cast, full of identifiable characters yet, still too outlandish to be real, serve as my model of how to live my everyday life. The plot, a beautiful mix of scripted comedy as well as real life seriousness with the added bonus of extreme workplace awkwardness, is magical. The extremity of which the show goes to get even a chuckle out of its wide variety of audiences is perfection. And it has made an impact on my life larger than one may care to admit.

Dunder Mifflin, the pseudo-company portrayed on the show, is perhaps the most wonderfully awkward and yet delightfully beloved setting in all of television. Though some denounce the show for its inappropriateness on various topics, and its lack of relatability to the employees, those who have watched the show from its beginning and have seen the progression and growth of the characters know that there is a little bit of all the employees in everyone. One may object saying, “You even can see some of the dim-witted Kevin Malone in yourself?” to which I, or any real Office fan, would heartily reply, “Of course!” There has most definitely been points in my life to which I would shake my head and chastise myself for making such a Kevin move. Same goes for the tightly wound accountant, Angela Martin. There are some days when, though I don’t like to admit it, I find myself acting like the irritable, small, blonde who forces her opinion on everyone and anyone who cares to disagree.

The show is also the source of many of my own mannerisms and personality. I particularly enjoy the character Jim Halpert, and strive to attain his omnipresent sarcastic tone; I sometimes even find myself employing “The Jim Face” during school. His sayings have bled through my TV and into my heart and mind, somehow finding their way into everyday conversation. His quick wit and hilarious practical jokes are things that I dream of possessing one day. However, Jim is also known for his soft side, and the amazing romance he has with coworker Pam Beesly. Quite frequently I find myself discussing the progression of the Pam-Jim office romance, and quietly hoping that that will also happen to me in the future.

The most crucial to an office is the boss. And the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch has a dime of a boss. Michael Scott, the socially inept man who seems still stuck in his childhood, presents at least one extremely awkward situation per episode, something many viewers delight in experiencing, including your truly. Though it is a sad fact, another effect of watching this wonderful show is catching the Michael Scott awkwardness, a disease that may follow you even beyond high school, as I am anticipating it will for me. Nevertheless, Michael also represents the clinging hope of every American that they too will attain “The American Dream”. He often talks of having kids, being a grandparent, and living in the suburbs. His hopes and desires have influenced thousands, and have helped shape the modern-day, middle class American Dream.

The Office is quite possibly the best show I have ever come across, and although watching rerun upon rerun of other shows may be dull, watching repeats of my favorite sitcom instead put me in a jollier mood. I’m sure that the first time my young eyes ever landed upon the perfection that is The Office, I would not find a model for how to live or the greatest bunch of fake friends I have ever had. Without this show, though it may sound dramatic, I would not be who I am.